Discover how AI can empower any business by democratizing access to AI systems. Through accessible AI development platforms, individuals, including small business owners, can contribute data and build custom AI systems tailored to their specific needs. This has the potential to revolutionize various aspects of business, such as demand forecasting, product placement optimization, supply chain management, and quality control. By democratizing AI access, we can ensure that the benefits of this transformative technology are widespread and contribute to economic growth.
The video discusses the rise of AI and compares it to the rise of literacy. It explains how AI is currently concentrated in big tech companies due to the high cost of building AI systems. The video emphasizes the potential benefits of enabling small businesses and individuals to use AI, citing examples in industries such as pizza stores and T-shirt companies. It introduces the concept of AI development platforms that focus on providing data rather than writing code, making it more accessible for a wider range of people to build their own AI systems.
When I think about the rise of AI,
I'm reminded by the rise of literacy.
A few hundred years ago,
many people in society thought
that maybe not everyone needed to be able to read and write.
Back then, many people were tending fields or herding sheep,
so maybe there was less need for written communication.
And all that was needed
was for the high priests and priestesses and monks
to be able to read the Holy Book,
and the rest of us could just go to the temple or church
or the holy building
and sit and listen to the high priest and priestesses read to us.
Fortunately, it was since figured out that we can build a much richer society
if lots of people can read and write.
Today, AI is in the hands of the high priests and priestesses.
These are the highly skilled AI engineers,
many of whom work in the big tech companies.
And most people have access only to the AI that they build for them.
I think that we can build a much richer society
if we can enable everyone to help to write the future.
But why is AI largely concentrated in the big tech companies?
Because many of these AI projects have been expensive to build.
They may require dozens of highly skilled engineers,
and they may cost millions or tens of millions of dollars
to build an AI system.
And the large tech companies,
particularly the ones with hundreds of millions
or even billions of users,
have been better than anyone else at making these investments pay off
because, for them, a one-size-fits-all AI system,
such as one that improves web search
or that recommends better products for online shopping,
can be applied to [these] very large numbers of users
to generate a massive amount of revenue.
But this recipe for AI does not work
once you go outside the tech and internet sectors to other places
where, for the most part,
there are hardly any projects that apply to 100 million people
or that generate comparable economics.
Let me illustrate an example.
Many weekends, I drive a few minutes from my house to a local pizza store
to buy a slice of Hawaiian pizza
from the gentleman that owns this pizza store.
And his pizza is great,
but he always has a lot of cold pizzas sitting around,
and every weekend some different flavor of pizza is out of stock.
But when I watch him operate his store,
I get excited,
because by selling pizza,
he is generating data.
And this is data that he can take advantage of
if he had access to AI.
AI systems are good at spotting patterns when given access to the right data,
and perhaps an AI system could spot if Mediterranean pizzas sell really well
on a Friday night,
maybe it could suggest to him to make more of it on a Friday afternoon.
Now you might say to me, "Hey, Andrew, this is a small pizza store.
What's the big deal?"
And I say, to the gentleman that owns this pizza store,
something that could help him improve his revenues
by a few thousand dollars a year, that will be a huge deal to him.
I know that there is a lot of hype about AI's need for massive data sets,
and having more data does help.
But contrary to the hype,
AI can often work just fine
even on modest amounts of data,
such as the data generated by a single pizza store.
So the real problem is not
that there isn’t enough data from the pizza store.
The real problem is that the small pizza store
could never serve enough customers
to justify the cost of hiring an AI team.
I know that in the United States
there are about half a million independent restaurants.
And collectively, these restaurants do serve tens of millions of customers.
But every restaurant is different with a different menu,
different customers, different ways of recording sales
that no one-size-fits-all AI would work for all of them.
What would it be like if we could enable small businesses
and especially local businesses to use AI?
Let's take a look at what it might look like
at a company that makes and sells T-shirts.
I would love if an accountant working for the T-shirt company
can use AI for demand forecasting.
Say, figure out what funny memes to prints on T-shirts
that would drive sales,
by looking at what's trending on social media.
Or for product placement,
why can’t a front-of-store manager take pictures of what the store looks like
and show it to an AI
and have an AI recommend where to place products to improve sales?
Can an AI recommend to a buyer whether or not they should pay 20 dollars
per yard for a piece of fabric now,
or if they should keep looking
because they might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere?
Or quality control.
A quality inspector should be able to use AI
to automatically scan pictures of the fabric they use to make T-shirts
to check if there are any tears or discolorations in the cloth.
Today, large tech companies routinely use AI to solve problems like these
and to great effect.
But a typical T-shirt company or a typical auto mechanic
or retailer or school or local farm
will be using AI for exactly zero of these applications today.
Every T-shirt maker is sufficiently different from every other T-shirt maker
that there is no one-size-fits-all AI that will work for all of them.
And in fact, once you go outside the internet and tech sectors
in other industries, even large companies
such as the pharmaceutical companies,
the car makers, the hospitals,
also struggle with this.
This is the long-tail problem of AI.
If you were to take all current and potential AI projects
and sort them in decreasing order of value and plot them,
you get a graph that looks like this.
Maybe the single most valuable AI system
is something that decides what ads to show people on the internet.
Maybe the second most valuable is a web search engine,
maybe the third most valuable is an online shopping product recommendation system.
But when you go to the right of this curve,
you then get projects like T-shirt product placement
or T-shirt demand forecasting or pizzeria demand forecasting.
And each of these is a unique project that needs to be custom-built.
Even T-shirt demand forecasting,
if it depends on trending memes on social media,
is a very different project than pizzeria demand forecasting,
if that depends on the pizzeria sales data.
So today there are millions of projects
sitting on the tail of this distribution that no one is working on,
but whose aggregate value is massive.
So how can we enable small businesses and individuals
to build AI systems that matter to them?
For most of the last few decades,
if you wanted to build an AI system, this is what you have to do.
You have to write pages and pages of code.
And while I would love for everyone to learn to code,
and in fact, online education and also offline education
are helping more people than ever learn to code,
unfortunately, not everyone has the time to do this.
But there is an emerging new way
to build AI systems that will let more people participate.
Just as pen and paper,
which are a vastly superior technology to stone tablet and chisel,
were instrumental to widespread literacy,
there are emerging new AI development platforms
that shift the focus from asking you to write lots of code
to asking you to focus on providing data.
And this turns out to be much easier for a lot of people to do.
Today, there are multiple companies working on platforms like these.
Let me illustrate a few of the concepts using one that my team has been building.
Take the example of an inspector
wanting AI to help detect defects in fabric.
An inspector can take pictures of the fabric
and upload it to a platform like this,
and they can go in to show the AI what tears in the fabric look like
by drawing rectangles.
And they can also go in to show the AI
what discoloration on the fabric looks like
by drawing rectangles.
So these pictures,
together with the green and pink rectangles
that the inspector's drawn,
are data created by the inspector
to explain to AI how to find tears and discoloration.
After the AI examines this data,
we may find that it has seen enough pictures of tears,
but not yet enough pictures of discolorations.
This is akin to if a junior inspector had learned to reliably spot tears,
but still needs to further hone their judgment about discolorations.
So the inspector can go back and take more pictures of discolorations
to show to the AI,
to help it deepen this understanding.
By adjusting the data you give to the AI,
you can help the AI get smarter.
So an inspector using an accessible platform like this
can, in a few hours to a few days,
and with purchasing a suitable camera set up,
be able to build a custom AI system to detect defects,
tears and discolorations in all the fabric
being used to make T-shirts throughout the factory.
And once again, you may say,
"Hey, Andrew, this is one factory.
Why is this a big deal?"
And I say to you,
this is a big deal to that inspector whose life this makes easier
and equally, this type of technology can empower a baker to use AI
to check for the quality of the cakes they're making,
or an organic farmer to check the quality of the vegetables,
or a furniture maker to check the quality of the wood they're using.
Platforms like these will probably still need a few more years
before they're easy enough to use for every pizzeria owner.
But many of these platforms are coming along,
and some of them are getting to be quite useful
to someone that is tech savvy today,
with just a bit of training.
But what this means is that,
rather than relying on the high priests and priestesses
to write AI systems for everyone else,
we can start to empower every accountant,
every store manager,
every buyer and every quality inspector to build their own AI systems.
I hope that the pizzeria owner
and many other small business owners like him
will also take advantage of this technology
because AI is creating tremendous wealth
and will continue to create tremendous wealth.
And it's only by democratizing access to AI
that we can ensure that this wealth is spread far and wide across society.
Hundreds of years ago.
I think hardly anyone understood the impact
that widespread literacy will have.
Today, I think hardly anyone understands
the impact that democratizing access to AI will have.
Building AI systems has been out of reach for most people,
but that does not have to be the case.
In the coming era for AI,
we’ll empower everyone to build AI systems for themselves,
and I think that will be incredibly exciting future.
Thank you very much.
When we consider the rise of AI, it is comparable to the rise of literacy in society. Similar to how not everyone needed to read and write in the past, some believe that not everyone needs to understand or utilize AI. However, just as literacy has proven to be vital for a prosperous society, enabling more people to contribute to the development of AI can lead to a richer society.
Currently, AI is primarily in the hands of highly skilled engineers who work for big tech companies. These companies have the financial resources to invest in expensive AI projects, which often require large teams and costly infrastructure. They can develop one-size-fits-all AI systems that cater to a massive user base, resulting in significant revenue generation.
However, this model does not work for small businesses or industries that lack the economics of scale. For example, a local pizza store owner could benefit from AI in various ways, such as optimizing pizza flavors based on sales data. While there may not be enough data generated by a single pizza store, the issue lies in the inability to justify the cost of hiring an AI team.
The concentration of AI expertise in large tech companies limits its accessibility and applicability outside the internet and tech sectors. Small businesses, including T-shirt companies, face unique challenges that call for custom-built AI systems. However, due to the lack of economies of scale and the diverse nature of businesses, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
This long-tail problem of AI is prevalent across industries, even among large companies. Many potential AI projects with significant collective value remain unexplored and untapped. This highlights the need to address the barriers preventing small businesses and individuals from benefiting from AI.
The emergence of new AI development platforms presents an opportunity to shift the focus from complex coding to data provision. These platforms allow individuals, including small business owners, to contribute data and build AI systems tailored to their specific needs.
For instance, a T-shirt company's accountant can utilize AI for demand forecasting by analyzing trending memes on social media. By capturing and uploading relevant data, such as pictures and annotations, the AI system can learn to identify defects in fabric, enhancing quality control processes. Similarly, other businesses can leverage AI for various applications, such as product placement optimization, supply chain management, and quality control.
While these AI development platforms may require further refinement and user-friendly features, they offer the potential to democratize AI access for small business owners. Training and education can bridge the knowledge gap, empowering individuals to harness the wealth-creating capabilities of AI.
The democratization of AI holds immense potential for individuals, small businesses, and society as a whole. Empowering professionals like accountants, store managers, buyers, and quality inspectors to build their own AI systems can drive innovation and economic growth.
In the coming years, as AI development platforms become more accessible, they will enable a wider range of industries and businesses to leverage AI technologies. This technology can revolutionize multiple sectors, including hospitality, agriculture, manufacturing, and more.
By democratizing access to AI, we ensure that the benefits of this transformative technology are not limited to a select few. Instead, we can unlock the full potential of AI by empowering individuals and small businesses to participate, innovate, and shape the future.
Generative AI has various applications across industries. In marketing, it is used for ad copy generation and activity summarization. It can also be applied in sales for generating sales materials and in customer service for assisting service representatives. Additionally, generative AI can aid in anomaly detection and conversational reporting in finance, and in creating a better digital experience for workers in supply chain. These are just a few examples highlighting the potential of generative AI across industries.
AI is revolutionizing customer service with automated chatbots, personalized recommendations, and targeted marketing efforts. It improves efficiency and reduces costs for businesses while providing a convenient and personalized experience for customers.
AI tools like ChatGPT can assist with various marketing tasks such as keyword research, content writing, social media posts, and more. However, relying solely on AI can limit creativity and personalization in marketing efforts. AI should be used as a tool, not a replacement for human expertise and input. It is important to use AI cautiously and understand its limitations to avoid publishing subpar content.
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